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American Experience: New Orleans - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping...more
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping students understand its unique history from historical and cultural perspectives.

There are several great interactive resources provided including audio clips and commentary about New Orleans' great musical tradition, and a flash-enabled map showing the growth of the city over time. Whether you're interested in teaching music, particularly American Jazz, or the history of New Orleans' diverse melting pot of cultures or the politics of race in the Katrina recovery process, you will find good content here. Teacher resources include lesson plans on history, civics, music and geography.

tag(s): jazz (15)

In the Classroom

Share the interactive portions on projector and speakers or laptops, as you ask your students to propose a better way for government agencies to prepare for and respond to disasters. Using this site and many others, they can gather evidence to support their proposals. Don't miss the accounts by the Superintendent of the St. Bernard Schools as another source.
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The Music In Poetry - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught ...more
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught as story poems and, while this site does that too, it makes ballads more relevant to the music that kids listen to today. Use this site to teach about meters (iambic triameter and iambic tetrameter) in ways that students can HEAR. The images of the short films are great, too. The site includes readings and singing of great, classic examples of ballads as well as some rarer film footage of great blues singers (ex: John Jackson singing "Steamboat Whistle" at Wolf Trap in 1997). There is a wide variety of tracks to choose from and the site includes lesson plans.

tag(s): blues (21), poetry (227)

In the Classroom

Play the sound files on speakers in your classroom and be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to play at home, as well. If you are into podcasting, consider having students make their own recordings of ballads after hearing and studying these. Create podcasts using PodOmatic (reviewed here). The lesson plans are printable Adobe and work with units/lessons on Langston Hughes and the blues as well as the meters of poetry.
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Art Presentations - Jefferson County Schools

Grades
K to 8
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This website provides ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations. There are well over twenty presentations on topics related to the visual arts and performing arts. Some of the specific...more
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This website provides ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations. There are well over twenty presentations on topics related to the visual arts and performing arts. Some of the specific topics include music careers, music and culture, rock-n-roll USA, art, impressionism, ceramics, art history and many others. Most of the PowerPoints are extremely well done, featuring graphics, sound, and a wide selection of information. You may need to have PowerPoint software on your computer to view these files, depending on how the site creators saved them.

tag(s): air (163), ceramics (5), impressionism (5), van gogh (8)

In the Classroom

Try these ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. Some may also be well-suited for individual students to run on a single classroom computer for individua; exploration. There are games, resources and a lot of information.

The site includes a disclaimer asking to be notified if users find any unauthorized, copyrighted material. TeachersFirst recommends that you NOT download copies but instead use them online, just in case.

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Kelly's Kindergarten Web Page - Kelly Nyman

Grades
K to 1
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If there was a "Generosity Award," Kelly would certainly be a front-runner. This site is a wealth of information for Kindergarten or first grade teachers, and it's all free. ...more
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If there was a "Generosity Award," Kelly would certainly be a front-runner. This site is a wealth of information for Kindergarten or first grade teachers, and it's all free. You will find printable games, phonics activities, classroom photos, music power points, classroom tips, Open Court worksheets, songs, and much more. She invites you to print her worksheets, copyright free.

tag(s): air (163), classroom management (134), worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

If you are a Kindergarten or first grade teacher, you will want to mark this site as a Favorite. Plan to spend a large amount of time exploring this site and links. If you need suggestions for setting up a Kindergarten classroom, her pictures lead the way. A beginning teacher will especially benefit from her classroom management ideas. Don't forget to see what she found at the Dollar Store. You may want to email her with a quick 'thank you' after you visit this site.
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Sing Along Songs - NIEHS

Grades
K to 8
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The National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services has indexed a plethora of songs and midis in the belief that music is good for health! Enjoy ...more
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The National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services has indexed a plethora of songs and midis in the belief that music is good for health! Enjoy the golden oldies, children's songs, holiday pieces, patriotic tunes, and everyone's favorites. Read the lyrics and sing along to the tune as it plays. Besides the genre categorization, the index also lists titles alphabetically. An additional feature is the "Guess this Tune" game. NIEHS carefully screens song selection so that teachers can be assured of the quality of the choices. This site requires Quick time. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): lyrics (19), songs (52)

In the Classroom

You might need headphones or speakers for this site. Songs are a wonderful tool to use with ESL students who often memorize songs more quickly than lists of vocabulary words. Singing helps improve accents as well. Primary grade teachers and those working with speech and language will also find this site useful. Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to use independently.

Some of the songs would also be great background for a class skit or play in primary grades. Turn up your speakers and play a patriotic song as your students act out a patriotic skit in social studies class.

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One Station - WRN

Grades
6 to 12
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One Station offers "Diverse Views: Global Voices," or links to radio stations as well as specific shows in a multitude of countries. The opening page has broadcast language choices...more
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One Station offers "Diverse Views: Global Voices," or links to radio stations as well as specific shows in a multitude of countries. The opening page has broadcast language choices for selecting stations. The site includes summaries of content and evaluations of the reliability, frequency, and objectivity of the stations. Click to investigate a specific station and find clickable schedules for daily broadcasts. The "Listen Now" option brings the staion in over your computer. The WRN Podcast page offers listeners the choice of downloading as mp3s for later listening. The audio files are available using either Real Player and Windows Media Player. You can get these from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): chinese (48), french (88), greek (41), italian (33), radio (27), russia (38), russian (26), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use this opportunity to introduce your students to the sounds of other culture or to hep develop listenting skills in a world language. High school social studies classes will benefit from following currenet events stories as portrayed in othe English-speaking media.
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Activity Ideas for St. Patrick's Day - Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Grades
K to 4
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This site provides lots of simple primary level activities, most of which require only commonly available supplies. The activities include science, math, language arts, music, art,...more
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This site provides lots of simple primary level activities, most of which require only commonly available supplies. The activities include science, math, language arts, music, art, cooking, and more.

tag(s): preK (279), st patricks day (14)

In the Classroom

This would be a nice site to list on your class website for students to access at home for some St. Patrick's Day fun! In art class, project (on your interactive whiteboard or projector) the picture of the finished product so students can "see the goal" while they work. Use the songs in music class to celebrate this holiday.

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Multicultural Theatre in Music - Iris R. Davis

Grades
4 to 6
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This curriculum unit is designed to help fourth and fifth grade students acquire musical and dramatic skills and knowledge. The lessons can be taught in the regular enrichment class...more
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This curriculum unit is designed to help fourth and fifth grade students acquire musical and dramatic skills and knowledge. The lessons can be taught in the regular enrichment class and can be completed in less than 30 minutes. It will take approximately nine weeks to complete the entire unit. While this is geared to a music class, it is adaptable to literature, history, art, or drama. The history of the theater will help students to understand that personal beliefs and societal values influence art forms and styles. Identifying significant works of drama will allow students to understand the diversity of cultures and styles. Students will be able to recognize the aesthetic qualities of the arts and they will learn to act, analyze and respond to performances, evaluate the quality of performances, and demonstrate performance disciplines.

tag(s): diversity (36)

In the Classroom

The joy of units offered like this is being able to use them in their entirety or pick, choose, and adapt to your own classroom needs. If your language arts series includes a theme on creativity or drama, this is a natural extension of that theme.

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Fling the Teacher - Mrs. Field - Music Teacher

Grades
6 to 8
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Fling the Teacher offers a variety of teaching topics and units for middle grade music classes. This teacher-created site from the UK offers topics ranging from African and Chinese...more
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Fling the Teacher offers a variety of teaching topics and units for middle grade music classes. This teacher-created site from the UK offers topics ranging from African and Chinese music to the Beatles and West Side Story. The site also provides lessons for teaching music theory as well as printables for each topic. Don't forget to have students try to "Fling the Teacher" - an automatically graded quiz for each level.

tag(s): music theory (42)

In the Classroom

Include the quizzes on your tecaher web page for at-home practice

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ESL Through Music - CASLT/ACPLS

Grades
1 to 8
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This compilation site describes websites that use music to teach language skills. Not only useful for limited English speakers, this site offers ideas for elementary teachers, as well,...more
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This compilation site describes websites that use music to teach language skills. Not only useful for limited English speakers, this site offers ideas for elementary teachers, as well, with specific songs and suggestions for including music as part of a regular lesson. You will find that addressing musical/rhythmic intelligence may draw in students who otherwise struggle. And all of them will find the different approach a refreshing change.

In the Classroom

Make music a part of every day teaching by using some of these great sites and ideas! Your music teacher may even be willing to reinforce both his/her curriculum and your by singing some of the songs in music class. Why not ask?

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Musical Freeze Improvisations - Matt Buchanan

Grades
6 to 10
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This lesson is intended to teach improvisation and invention, and to introduce the idea of creating story from movement, rather than the other way around. It also works well as ...more
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This lesson is intended to teach improvisation and invention, and to introduce the idea of creating story from movement, rather than the other way around. It also works well as a warm up. It is a variation of musical chairs, but the movement (not the freezing itself) is the important part. It is designed to show students the different aspects of body movement as well as different interpretations by different individuals. While great as a warm-up exercise, this also works well with students who are "stiff" actors or who find it difficult to be natural onstage.

tag(s): acting (27)

In the Classroom

As you read a piece of literature and discuss how a character's actions are part of the characterization, use improv to help students understand how much we learn about people through their actions. If you choose to extend the literature study by having students write a character study, they can use description of actions as part of that study, as well.

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Oxfam Education - Oxfam

Grades
6 to 12
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are lesson plans on fair trade, social justice, sustainability, and a new...more
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are lesson plans on fair trade, social justice, sustainability, and a new unit on global music. Given the nature of the issues explored, there is a special teacher's guide to teaching controversial issues. The link to "Mapping our World" takes you to a great interactive look at the world and the impact of maps on our view of the world.

tag(s): environment (317)

In the Classroom

Geography teachers will love the "Mapping our World" interactive. Teachers who focus on current events will find much to explore. Oxfam as an organization clearly has a political point of view, but the depth of resources represented is remarkable.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sound - Crick Web

Grades
K to 3
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This creative site is all about sound! The first section presents the students with ten speakers. The students click on the speaker to hear a sound. Then ...more
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This creative site is all about sound! The first section presents the students with ten speakers. The students click on the speaker to hear a sound. Then the students find the vocabulary word for that sound from the word bank and drag the word to the correct corresponding space. The second activity "Sorting Instrument Sounds" challenges students to sort instruments into one of four categories (instruments we blow, instruments we bang, instruments we pluck or instruments we shake). The students can hear the instruments, by clicking on the picture of the instrument. Both activities provide a "check" button for assessment purposes. FLASH is required.

tag(s): listening (91), sound (100)

In the Classroom

This kid-friendly site will enhance any unit on sound or musical instruments.Be sure to turn up your volume! You may have to read the written labels aloud to very weak readers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Song Lyrics: Using Songs in the ESL Classroom - Neil Coghlan

Grades
1 to 8
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Long known to improve accents and intonations, singing with limited English speakers also provides cultural knowledge, fun, and a whole-language way to assist students to memorize English...more
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Long known to improve accents and intonations, singing with limited English speakers also provides cultural knowledge, fun, and a whole-language way to assist students to memorize English in meaningful chunks. Mainly an alphabetical index to many enjoyable songs, this site also gives suggestions about how to use the lyrics to help improve the students' English.

tag(s): lyrics (19)

In the Classroom

Find lyrics to any song you want! Share this link with your students themselves, They may want to look up some songs they have heard and did not fully understand.

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Singing Science Records - Ballads for the Age of Science

Grades
1 to 12
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Listen to songs to teach important (and less important) science concepts. This collection of MP3 files was generated from an old set of records (yes, those round vinyl things that ...more
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Listen to songs to teach important (and less important) science concepts. This collection of MP3 files was generated from an old set of records (yes, those round vinyl things that had scratches). While the actual copyright holder information is a gray area, you can feel safe in playing the songs from the site. Most likely, these songs from the 1950s and 60s are past copyright at this point. In any case, you can click to play from smaller or larger file versions. Be patient while they load, even over a broadband connection. It will be worth the wait to teach parts of plants, the water cycle, weather, motion, energy, electricity, and MANY other topics with just a computer and set of speakers to help students retain the information. Most of the content is elementary to middle school age, but some is high school level. Learning support teachers seeking alternate study strategies will love this one!

tag(s): animals (276), energy (197), mammals (32), motion (58), plants (144), space (205), water (130), water cycle (33), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Include the links to specific songs for review on your teacher web site or play one of the songs as students enter the room (a sort of audio anticipatory set). You will definitely need to turn up the speakers. Elementary music teachers might want to pick up one of the songs while the students are studying these topics and teach the music and lyrics during music class!

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National Children's Folksong Registry - Education CyberPlayGround

Grades
K to 12
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Want to become a part of cyberspace history and preserve a part of our culture? Use your ipod, phone or computer to record the chants, songs, jump rope rhymes, or ...more
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Want to become a part of cyberspace history and preserve a part of our culture? Use your ipod, phone or computer to record the chants, songs, jump rope rhymes, or circle games that your students enjoy. Then submit them to the database so the students can hear themselves on the net.They can also listen to recordings made by other classes. Be part of a new way of recording oral history! Include this activity as art of your study of history and the songs people sang on the railroads, on riverboats, or as they immigrated.

tag(s): oral history (12), songs (52), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Before recording for the website use a tape recorder to have students practice speaking clearly when recording. Have older students teach younger grades a chant or song to record. Directions for recording are included on the site. Make sure you follow your school district policies for posting information on the web. Include a link on your teacher website for parents to listen to the class recordings.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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"The Producers" Lights Up Broadway from Recording the Producers - PBS Great Performances

Grades
9 to 12
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Involving students in present day theatre is valuable for both interest purposes and motivational purposes in studying the history of theatre and its collaboration with the other arts....more
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Involving students in present day theatre is valuable for both interest purposes and motivational purposes in studying the history of theatre and its collaboration with the other arts. You can use this site for a beginning or plug it in with almost any other current Broadway musical.Including an overview with learning objectives and a remarkable number of additional links, this site has procedures for teachers that includes four (4) activities and student organizers for students. If you desired to simply use what is there, you would have a good basis for a lesson. If you took the time to sort through some of the additional sites listed, you would easily have a semester's worth of information to share with students.

tag(s): producers (8)

In the Classroom

This can be used as a history lesson, a creative writing exercise, a literature analysis, or a research assignment. It also encourages students to look at other jobs for the theatre besides acting or directing. While the organizers are not the best part of the site, they are easily adapted or expanded to be exactly what you want and some of the descriptions of the activities give great ideas on creating organizers yourself.

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Adapting a Musical - Kennedy Center ArtsEdge and Jayne Karsten, teacher

Grades
9 to 12
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Help your students explore the implications of developing a musical from a literary text or an historical event by trying out this set of lessons.The plan includes suggestions for immersing...more
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Help your students explore the implications of developing a musical from a literary text or an historical event by trying out this set of lessons.The plan includes suggestions for immersing students into the creative process of building a musical. Any literary source or sources already integrated into the curriculum could be used in this "test case" probe. Sources that do not seem to hold any promise for transformation are just as valuable as those that do. An ideal format would be to incorporate a text or texts that hold promise and one or more that seem non-transferable. Following are a few suggested titles that could be considered. Some seem rich in possibilities; others do not and may seem impossible choices. Creative students, however, may find possibilities in all of them. The plan includes a list of possible literary works from which to choose or get ideas and specific instructions on how the students could be divided to work together on specific tasks. It includes assessment.

tag(s): gifted (96)

In the Classroom

This plan actually incorporates activities for five 45-minute lessons. This activity would make a challenging interdisciplinary activity as a culmination of a unit in a history class or in a gifted program.

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Blues Classroom - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that...more
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that sites on this subject so rarely include sound files for the music they're describing.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), blues (21), jazz (15), songs (52)

In the Classroom

If you elect to use this site, talk with your school's music teacher about resources that will let students hear samples of the music.

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Smithsonian Global Sound - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
1 to 12
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance...more
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance a unit of study. Full downloads in MP3 or FLAC format are available for purchase but each offering is accompanied by a free audio sample. Note: this site opens rather slowly.Be patient, especially if you are on a dial-up connection.

tag(s): songs (52)

In the Classroom

Search this site for songs to supplement your unit in a US or World history class. This teacher was able to find a song about the suffrage movement, and was able to teach the beliefs of suffrage through student analysis of the lyrics and tone. Be sure to search - there are literally tons of songs that can be used for a variety of curriculum.

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